Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Five Reasons a Judge Will Not Grant a Child Support Modification

When you are a parent, the state presumes that you have an obligation to provide for your child financially, regardless of whether you are married to the other parent or have custody of the child. All parents are expected to contribute to the upkeep and support of their child. Therefore, New York family laws contain guidelines for child support payments, including the modification of child support orders. Our New York child custody lawyers can help you seek child support payments or modify child support payments.

Five Reasons Why Your Motion to Modify Child Support in New York Can Be Denied

1. No Substantial Change in Circumstances

For the court to grant a motion to modify child support, the petitioner must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances since the date of the current child support order. If the petitioning parent cannot demonstrate to the court that sufficient evidence is available to verify the allegation of a substantial change in circumstances, the court may dismiss the motion without a hearing. The change must be a “material” change. Small changes in income or your choice to move to a bigger home are not good reasons to file a motion to modify child support.

2. The Decrease in Income Was Voluntary

If you are claiming a decrease in income as your substantial change, you must prove to the court that the decrease in income was not voluntary. For example, you did not like your job, so you quit. This would be a voluntary change in circumstances, so your motion is likely to be denied. In addition, if your decrease in income was involuntary, such as you were laid off from your job, you must prove that you have tried to find a job using your skills, experience, abilities, and education.

3. The Emancipation Age in The Order Is Not 21

In most cases, when your oldest child reaches 21 years of age, your child support is automatically reduced by the amount allocated for that child’s support. If there is no allocation, you can petition the court to reduce your child support obligation. However, if your child support order was entered in another state, you need to review the order to determine the emancipation age of your children.

4. Three Years Have Not Passed Since the Current Child Support Order

A parent may request the court review the current child support order under three circumstances. You can file a motion to modify support payments for a substantial change in circumstances or an involuntary 15% change in income for either parent. If these circumstances do not apply to you, your current order must be at least three years old. If the current order is within three years, your request for modification can be denied.

5. Your Change in Circumstances is Due to Incarceration

Depending on the date of your child support order, incarceration may be treated as “voluntary” unemployment and your motion to modify child support can be denied. For orders before October 13, 2010, incarceration is usually not a valid reason for a change in child support payments.

Call A New York Child Custody Lawyer for Help with Child Support Matters

If you are having problems with your child’s other parent paying child support, we can help. Our New York child custody lawyers handle all matters related to child support, including motions to modify support payments, collection of past due child support payments, and petitions for child support. Contact us to set up a free consultation.

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